Keyboard Studies News from the 2014-2015 Academic Year

Piano alumnus Robert Thies performs Prokofiev with Louisville Orchestra

June 19, 2015

Concert pianist and USC Thornton alumnus Robert Thies (BM ’93, MM ’95, piano) performed Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26, recently with the Louisville Orchestra, receiving a strong review from WUOL.org. Reviewer Daniel Gilliam reported that “Pianist Robert Thies and the orchestra play equal roles, moving gracefully through sometimes quirky, sometimes elegant […]


Dongni Xie takes second prize in concerto competition

June 17, 2015

Dongni Xie, a GCRT candidate in Keyboard Studies and a student of Norman Krieger, recently took second prize in the Young Musicians Foundation 2015 Concerto Competition. In April, Xie was one of three USC Thornton students to win scholarships from the Pasadena Alumnae chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. And in May, she took Grand Prize […]


Piano student Esther Lee presents Chicago recital

May 19, 2015

USC Thornton student Esther Lee (GCRT ’15, keyboard studies) recently presented a solo recital hosted by the International Music Foundation of Chicago as part of their Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series. The May 13 event took place at the Chicago Cultural Center and featured works by Haydn, Chopin and Ravel. Lee is a student […]


Piano student Evan Pensis selected for USC fellowship

May 4, 2015

USC Thornton junior Evan Pensis (BM ’16, piano performance) was selected for an Undergraduate Fellowship with the USC Center for Excellence and Teaching for the 2015-16 academic year. Pensis studies under Keyboard Studies professor Daniel Pollack. Pensis was recently awarded First Place in the VSA Kennedy Center International Young Soloists Competition and will present a […]


Alumnus Nic Gerpe featured in REDCAT solo performance

April 22, 2015

USC Thornton alumnus Nic Gerpe (DMA ’12, piano) will be featured in a solo piano performance at The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) on Tuesday, April 28. An international performer with a focus in new music, Gerpe currently serves on the faculty of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Gerpe will perform works by Alexina […]


Norman Krieger performs Beethoven concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic

April 1, 2015

USC Thornton Keyboard Studies faculty Norman Krieger was a featured soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s “Emperor” piano concerto in two concerts on March 27 and 28. A reviewer for the Buffalo News noted that “Krieger, at the piano, showed a special gift for the rapturous melody lines of the ‘Emperor’ – the […]


Norman Krieger receives favorable review for performance of Rachmaninoff piano concerto

March 20, 2015

USC Thornton Keyboard Studies professor Norman Krieger‘s March 8 performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra was met with a glowing review by the Ellsworth American. Krieger “proved to be both technically and musically attuned to the piece” and “never pushed but allowed his hands to explore each nuance and […]


Piano student Josephine Yang featured as soloist in two orchestral concerts

March 11, 2015

USC Thornton piano student Josephine Yang (MM ’16) received glowing reviews for her recent performances with the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonara under guest conductor Keitaro Harada. The Sierra Vista Herald reported that “The audience was not disappointed, as a long, loud standing ovation began even as the last note […]


USC Thornton sextet Cardinal Winds selected for Coleman Competition Finals and Plowman Competition Semi-Finals

March 3, 2015

USC Thornton woodwind sextet Cardinal Winds was selected for the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition Finals. Cardinal Winds was formed at USC in 2014. Its members are Catherine Baker, flute (GCRT), Zachary Pulse, oboe (GCRT), Kelsi Doolittle, clarinet (MM), Alex Garcia, bassoon (MM ’13), Carrie Rexroat, horn (MM) and Hedy Lee, piano (DMA ‘13). The Coleman […]


Alan Smith’s concert piece highlighed in Opera News

February 11, 2015

Alan Smith, chair of Keyboard Studies and director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts, was praised in a recent edition of Opera News for his “stunning concert piece Daniel Boone Sings to the Night Sky.” The article raved that American baritone Matthew Worth’s “rich, warm sound was heard to best advantage” in Smith’s piece.


News archive